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Thread: Free weights vs machines

  1. #1
    Octaneforce's Avatar
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    Free weights vs machines

    Ive always been a fan of freeweights over machines. A friend of mine goes to planet fitness. Besides a few dumbells that only go up to like 60, there are no freeweights. Not even a bench press! He has been complaining that he doesnt seem to get bigger or stronger no matter what he does or eats. I tell him all the time that if he doesnt incorporate free weights that he wont ever meet his goals. Maybe im crazy but i feel like free weights using proper form trumps a machine every time. Something about having to balance the bar and being a little worried is satisfying.

    So whats the verdict? Will free weights offer better gains over machines?

  2. #2
    Clove1234 is offline Associate Member
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    Definitely depends on goals. For getting bigger and stronger, machines will have a point of diminishing returns or no returns at all. Planet fitness is great for treadmill zombies and old people in my opinion.

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    GearHeaded is offline Trying to make money by wrecking YOUR health
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    depends mainly on GENETICS and muscle fiber type your body and different muscle groups possess.

    example
    Phil Heath - he has always trained primarily with machines for every body part and always has (he's had no injuries)

    Ronnie Coleman and Branch Warren - always trained with free weights and big heavy compound moves (lots of injuries)

    Both work dependent on your genetics . Phil heath probably is a genetic freak possesses a whole shit ton more sarcoplasmic muscle fibers then most guys (sarcoplasmic fibers hypertrophy very well with machine pump work and respond well to steroid use ).

    Branch Warren on the other hand grew very well using heavy weights and relied more on Myofibrillar hypertrophy (heavy weight low rep) . he is probably more myofibrillar fiber type dominant.

    I advocate a good mixture of both , BUT when natural and building your base I always recommend doing the heavy compound free weight lifts as your primary workload (squat, bench, deadlift, overhead press, bent over rows ,etc.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clove1234 View Post
    Definitely depends on goals. For getting bigger and stronger, machines will have a point of diminishing returns or no returns at all. Planet fitness is great for treadmill zombies and old people in my opinion.
    I know we bust his balls about it lol. They even give out pizza once a week or some shit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GearHeaded View Post
    depends mainly on GENETICS and muscle fiber type your body and different muscle groups possess.

    example
    Phil Heath - he has always trained primarily with machines for every body part and always has (he's had no injuries)

    Ronnie Coleman and Branch Warren - always trained with free weights and big heavy compound moves (lots of injuries)

    Both work dependent on your genetics . Phil heath probably is a genetic freak possesses a whole shit ton more sarcoplasmic muscle fibers then most guys (sarcoplasmic fibers hypertrophy very well with machine pump work and respond well to steroid use ).

    Branch Warren on the other hand grew very well using heavy weights and relied more on Myofibrillar hypertrophy (heavy weight low rep) . he is probably more myofibrillar fiber type dominant.

    I advocate a good mixture of both , BUT when natural and building your base I always recommend doing the heavy compound free weight lifts as your primary workload (squat, bench, deadlift, overhead press, bent over rows ,etc.)
    Im sure me nor my friends are have any genetic gifts but i agree, i always tell new guys to get familiar with free weights and then hit them heavy. And stay away from the god damn smith machine

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    1moreset024 is offline Banned
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    Pizza Monday
    Bagel Tuesday

    Free weights vs machines-hqdefault.jpgFree weights vs machines-maxresdefault.jpgFree weights vs machines-blvcrngciae6wzo.jpgFree weights vs machines-images.jpegFree weights vs machines-download.jpegFree weights vs machines-download-1-.jpeg

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    Clove1234 is offline Associate Member
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    Love me some pizza Monday, went with my buddy one time a few years ago and watch a whole family just take a box and eat it by themselves lol

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    GearHeaded is offline Trying to make money by wrecking YOUR health
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    ok thats it, I don't care if I own my own gym or not, I'm going to planet fitness for the free pizza day. its bulking season

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    Clove1234 is offline Associate Member
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    10 dollars a month, four times a month. Might be worth it just for pizza

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    I belong to an independent gym which I love, but the cardio equipment sucks and it's only open until 9pm.

    For $20/mo, I ALSO belong to PF. I have to travel for work, there's a PF nearly everywhere I go and at home, I have a late night option. Unless I want to do a heavy dead-lift day or something, I can get a decent enough workout in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1moreset024 View Post
    Pizza Monday
    Bagel Tuesday

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    Clearly that's to reward people for being dedicated and sticking to a stringent diet all week.....right!? It shouldn't bother me this much but I kinda wanna find the person who came up with this silly ass concept for a gym and kick em right in the dick. (Just noticed the "no super setting" poster and can't decide which pisses me off more that stupid poster or the fact that they're feeding their already obese clientele straight fat and simple carbs Shit I should prob drop my tren down a bit

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaMindz View Post
    Clearly that's to reward people for being dedicated and sticking to a stringent diet all week.....right!? It shouldn't bother me this much but I kinda wanna find the person who came up with this silly ass concept for a gym and kick em right in the dick. (Just noticed the "no super setting" poster and can't decide which pisses me off more that stupid poster or the fact that they're feeding their already obese clientele straight fat and simple carbs Shit I should prob drop my tren down a bit
    Haha i feel you man. But hey thats capitilism. Theres a demand for this sort of gym environment. I wouldnt even know how to lift without super setting. What does that even mean ur right

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    Yup, exactly, capitalism brotha. I did some heavy bench press/ bent over row super sets (among a bunch of other shit) at the gym earlier and feel quite a bit more accepting of the whole thing now .. Live and let live man. But damn tren is the only compound that gives me a notable decrease in tolerance for dumb shit lmao! But to weigh in on your original question, I definitely feel that free weight movements help you achieve a stronger overall physique (especially regarding your core), and like you touched on, utilizing the stabilizing muscles while moving weight is beneficial to your overall gains IMO. Although one shouldn't write off machines altogether because they can add a lot of value to building a good physique. GearHeaded comes at it from a scientific stand point which is cool and what he said def makes sense, so as most things in life, I think a balanced approach is prob the most optimal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GearHeaded View Post
    depends mainly on GENETICS and muscle fiber type your body and different muscle groups possess.

    example
    Phil Heath - he has always trained primarily with machines for every body part and always has (he's had no injuries)

    Ronnie Coleman and Branch Warren - always trained with free weights and big heavy compound moves (lots of injuries)

    Both work dependent on your genetics . Phil heath probably is a genetic freak possesses a whole shit ton more sarcoplasmic muscle fibers then most guys (sarcoplasmic fibers hypertrophy very well with machine pump work and respond well to steroid use ).

    Branch Warren on the other hand grew very well using heavy weights and relied more on Myofibrillar hypertrophy (heavy weight low rep) . he is probably more myofibrillar fiber type dominant.

    I advocate a good mixture of both , BUT when natural and building your base I always recommend doing the heavy compound free weight lifts as your primary workload (squat, bench, deadlift, overhead press, bent over rows ,etc.)
    Injuries are one reason my philosophy on my own personal regime have changed. I look at Dorian, Ronni and branch and see all those injuries from heavy lifting, on everything and think to myself. I want to be jacked for life. I use to train heavy on everything and almost HIT style. But now, i go heavy on compound lifts ONLy and really focus on slow negatives and Time Under Tension for axillery lifts. I was always hurt pushing every exercise to the max.

    Quote Originally Posted by GearHeaded View Post
    ok thats it, I don't care if I own my own gym or not, I'm going to planet fitness for the free pizza day. its bulking season
    It’s it always bulking season bro?
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    Planet Fitness has the ultimate racket. They cater to a clientel that 99% of dont go to the gym. "But my membership is only 10$ a month and I might go next week, so I'm not going to cancel it." So they have very little equipment maintenance and 2 to 3000 members that might go once a week. And it doesn't take a mathe-magician to see that's 20 to 30k a month. Also the machines they have probably don't have the resistance needed or may have even been modified and had weight removed, which could be the reason your buddy is having trouble with gains. I'm just saying.

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    I personally use a combination of free weights and machines. I like both depending on what i am doing. I do know the the machines in planet fitness usually have the weight decreased though.. And he is probably not eating enough if not gaining weight. Needs to track food more.

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    It's all about the mind muscle connection for me.

    So I do whatever gives me that great "pump"
    Normally I'll start my workout with one or two free weight compound movements and then do high volume hypertrophy isolation excercises. For those I like to use machines as I can really feel the intended muscles working.

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    I use both and feel both have their place. Suppose you want to rest pause a set of presses to total failure. Doing that with d'bells ain't the brightest choice at times.
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    Free Weights for muscle building/growth, machines for muscle forming which forces better technique (certain muscles, like chest/legs). I feel free weights put on mass alot easier because you have to stabilize everything with the muscle you are pin pointing and surrounding muscles (to a degree).

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    After listening to dexter jackson talk about primarily switching to machines for heavy lifts I started incorporating more machines years ago. I didn’t loose any size and continued to get bigger and stronger. As long as you force muscle hypotrophy it doesn’t matter. Some force it better with free weight done better with machines. As I have gotten older I like more machines to avoid injuries as well

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    Tacosngains is offline New Member
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    I go to planet fitness... The pizza monday is once a month and I try not to be there when it happens cause It gets busy and theres people standing around waiting for you to finish your sets.
    I try to go in the afternoon when the milfs are out lol. The dumbbells go up to 75... The bench is on a smith machine and i feel like if you have good form then theres no reason to complain about it. I use the machines and the freeweights. I usually bounce around from the dumbells to the cables. Ive never seen a sign like the one shown in the above picture... I do deadlifts all the time although its on the smith machine it still gives me a great workout.
    Lunk alarm... Ive never seen it go off but ive seen videos of people intentionally setting it off. Your not gonna set it off and get kicked out unless your intentionally drawing attention. Everybody's got in headphones so nobody's really paying attention.
    Just wanted to shed some light that it aint all that bad and for 20 bucks a month to go to any PF on the map worth it to me but thats my .02

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    I love machines for certain exercises and free weights for others, I try my best to mix it around

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    You can use both for growth just use what feels best for your training groove. Sometimes I prefer machines for certain bodyparts because I know I don't have to use my secondary stabilizing muscles to keep the free weight from dropping so this helps with any nagging injuries but I've build huge bodyparts using both free and machines its how you use them and what you put into them, also the machine needs to fit your body type and levers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bio-Active View Post
    After listening to dexter jackson talk about primarily switching to machines for heavy lifts I started incorporating more machines years ago. I didn’t loose any size and continued to get bigger and stronger. As long as you force muscle hypotrophy it doesn’t matter. Some force it better with free weight done better with machines. As I have gotten older I like more machines to avoid injuries as well
    Same for me, I switched to using more machines from nagging elbow, wrists and knee pains after hearing Dexter. All of those are now minimal to no pain, I won't go back to using only free weights, especially at 50 yrs old

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    ALIN is offline Knowledgeable Member
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    I like the mix of free weights and machines. Both can be extremely beneficial tools.

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